The first festival in 1939 was dedicated entirely to music by Vivaldi, whose work was little known at the time and since then it has always tried to “re-discover” works by Italian composers and more recently to promote contemporary music and an interdisciplinary approach to music, the voice and drama.
This year the inaugural evening (invitation only) on 8 July is in Brussels at the first sitting of the new European parliament and marks the beginning of the six-month Italian presidency of the EU. The world premier of Blanquette by Italian composer Azio Corghi, based on a story by Alphonse Daudet and commissioned by the Accademia Musicale Chigiana of Siena, is on 10 July together with L’Arlésienne also inspired by Daudet, with the voice of Chiara Muti and the Orchestra della Toscana conducted by Marco Angius.
The programme also includes a homage to Lucio Berio (16 July) Sardinian sacred music (11 July) Spanish songs (12 July) and an interesting combination of music by Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach, (fifth child and second son of J.S Bach) and the contemporary Argentinian (Astor Piazzola) on 16 July.
The festival concludes with an evening of tarantella. There are also master classes throughout July and Aug for single instruments, composition, chamber groups, conducting and singing. Apart from the inaugural concert all events take place in Siena.